As anticipated, Irish rock group U2 will hit the road for a two-year stadium jaunt that kicks off on June 20 at Nou Camp Stadium in Barcelona, SPA. Dubbed the 360 Tour, the group will play 40 to 45 concerts per year and offer fans affordable ticket options. For the first time, the group will perform in an in-the-round stage configuration.

“U2 has always been at their best when surrounded by their audience, this staging takes a giant leap forward,” said U2’s manager Paul McGuinness in a statement. “With 85 percent of the tickets priced at less than $95, general admission floor tickets priced at $55, and at least 10,000 tickets at every venue priced at the $30 price range, we have worked very hard to ensure that U2 fans can purchase a great priced ticket with a guaranteed great view.” Ticket prices for their previous outing, Vertgo Tour (2005-2006), were priced at $175, $95 and $55.

Ticket sales for shows in Milan, ITA (July 7) and Gothenburg, SWE (July 31) go on sale March 13; tickets for the Amsterdam, NET show (July 20) go on sale March 14. As usual, existing subscribers to U2’s official web site will have an opportunity to purchase tickets in advance of the public on sale date.

On Vertigo, U2’s last tour, the group performed in stadiums internationally but only in arenas in North America.

“North American fans should see U2 in stadiums as well,” Arthur Fogel, Live Nation‘s CEO of Global Touring and chairman of Global Music, told TicketNews. “It’s the first time in 12 years that they played stadiums in North America. It’s a great experience. Both are very good, but very different.”

Produced by Live Nation, U2 360 will hit 14 cities across Europe including dates in Milan, ITA; Gothenburg, SWE; Amsterdam, NET; Paris, FRA; Nice, FRA; Dublin, IRE; Chorzow, POL; Berlin, GER; Gelsenkirchen, GER; London, ENG; Sheffield, ENG; and Glasgow, SCO; before finishing at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, WAL, on August 22. This is the quartet’s first tour as a Live Nation Artist, having signed on with the promoters for most revenue sources except recording and publishing.

The European tour will be followed by dates in North America beginning on September 12 at Soldier Field in Chicago, IL. Dates are confirmed for Toronto, ONT; Boston, MA and New York, NY but not for Atlanta, GA; Charlottesville, VA; Dallas, TX; Houston, TX; Las Vegas, NV; Los Angeles, CA; Norman, OK; Phoenix, AZ; Tampa, FL; Washington, DC and Vancouver, BC.

Long-time U2 show director Willie Williams has worked again with architect and set designer Mark Fisher (ZooTV, PopMart, Elevation and Vertigo) to create an innovative 360 design, which affords an unobstructed view for the audience.

In keeping with their long-standing tradition, U2 will have different support acts, including Glasvegas, Elbow, Kaiser Chiefs, Snow Patrol and Black Eyed Peas, with additional artists to be announced.

The tour is sponsored by BlackBerry and follows the release of their twelfth studio album, “No Line on the Horizon,” which is already number 1 in the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Belgium, Finland, Japan and the Czech Republic.

U2 itinerary:
(Dates are subject to change.)

June 30 Barcelona, SPA Nou Camp
July 7 Milan, ITA San Siro
July 11 Paris, FRA Stade De France
July 15 Nice, FRA Parc Charles Ehrmann
July 18 Berlin, GER Olympic Stadium
July 20 Amsterdam, NET Arena
July 24 Dublin, IRE Croke Park
July 31 Gothenburg, SWE Ullevi
August 6 Chorzow, POL Slaski Stadium
August 10 Zagreb, CRO Maksimir Stadium
August 14 London, ENG Wembley Stadium
August 18 Glasgow, SCO Hampden Park
August 20 Sheffield, ENG Don Valley Stadium
August 22 Cardiff, WAL Millennium Stadium
September 12 Chicago, IL Soldier Field
September 16 Toronto, ON The Rogers Centre
September 20 Boston, MA Gillette Stadium
September 24 New York, NY Giants Stadium

Last Updated on March 9, 2009